Pressure to close Al Jazeera mounts


Update | There's growing political pressure to have international broadcaster Al Jazeera closed down.

The Qatari-owned broadcaster has become the subject of an ultimatum by various Middle Eastern states including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who are currently deadlocked in an escalating dispute with Qatar that has resulted in the Gulf country being cut off from its neighbours.

The closure of Al Jazeera is one of several demands that have been levied on Qatar by states opposed to its policies, as part of their terms and conditions for resolving the crisis. Qatar has been given 10 days to act.

The NUJ reports that in Saudi Arabia, the commission for tourism and national heritage has joined Bahrain in banning tourist destinations from airing Al Jazeera. Draconian measures also include fines of up to $2,700 for Saudi citizens caught watching Al Jazeera TV.

Qatar has indicated it will ignore the ultimatum.

Al Jazeera English was launched in 2006 and rapidly increased its global reach, including the UK. It has become the home of a number off British journalists, providing UK viewers with familar faces in front of the camera, including the late Sir David Frost, who moved from the BBC to become part of the launch line-up.

News programmes are broadcast from studios in Doha and The Shard, London. Al Jazeera spun off its sports business at the beginning of 2014 to form BeIN Sports, which provides a number of pay TV sports channels in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Australia.






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